Book Hangover

I’m currently in one of those weird moods commonly known to bibliophiles as a “book hangover,” although I contest that it can happen with TV programmes equally strongly. This happened a few days ago when I finally watched the recent Christmas special of Downton Abbey. No spoilers, but suffice it to say that there was a long beautiful sequence of scenes of joy and peace and promise and newness, and then in ten heinous seconds it all was ripped away leaving a gaping bloody hole in the centre of perfection… and then I had to walk away and do “real life,” whatever the heck that is. And all I could think about was how sadistic these writers are and how are these people going to bear it when they discover what the viewers know but the family is blissfully unaware of until the next episode… Curse you, BBC!!!

Anyway, I was talking about books. Somehow books are even weirder because it all happens completely in your mind. Interrupt me while I’m reading, and my eyes will jerk up, staring blankly, trying to reorient myself but 99% mentally still in the book. Whatever words stumble from my mouth in those next few seconds are almost guaranteed not to make sense.  The only reason I’m able to write coherently now is because I put the book down a full thirty minutes ago.

I’m currently reading a mind-bending sci-fi/fantasy novel called Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card. The plot is excellent, but it’s the intelligence of the characters that makes Card’s books stand out. I feel like I’m learning so much about human nature just from the way the characters understand humanity. Anyway, I read a full 300 pages in one sitting. Took me about three hours. Yes, I know that’s insanely fast. I’m probably not human.

When I finally “come to” enough to realise that I should probably take a break, I close the book, wash my dishes which had been sitting abandoned next to me for at least two hours, and stumble upstairs and into the bathroom, something else I haven’t done in far too long. Staring into the mirror, an array of bizarre yet familiar thoughts accost me. It’s a bit of a side effect of the bleary return to the “real world.” Like waking up from the Matrix. Well, here I am. Caitlyn. Is that my name? Who is Caitlyn? Oh look at that, I have a body. Still got legs. I am inside my body. Isn’t that weird. I am stuck inside my body experiencing only what’s immediately around me. Is this how time normally passes–very slowly, in the right order? Have I always been in my body? How maddening–I’ve always been inside my body, always thinking even while asleep, never leaving myself alone. I feel completely claustrophobic inside my own skull. Because clearly I’m not my body. I’ve barely been aware of my body for the past three hours. So what is this consciousness trapped in here? What is Thought, what is Consciousness, what is Self, or Soul, or Sentience? Are all people like this–so much bigger on the inside?

And then I conclude that I’ve had a little too much book for one day and decide an appropriate remedy is finding some Real People to Hang Out with. Extreme introversion must be occasionally forcibly counterbalanced with purposeful social interaction. Except like tonight when the house is empty and my options become basically either watch Merlin on Netflix or go to bed early. If I’m smart, I’ll choose the latter and start fresh tomorrow, when I’m hopefully a bit more in touch with this thing called Reality and feeling a little more at home inside my own skull.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. joseasanoj
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 05:14:58

    Reblogged this on My Day Out With An Angel.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: